Sunday 24 June 2018

John Piper at the Mead

John Piper

at the Mead Gallery, University of Warwick.

Landscape artist, official war artist, a major advocate of abstract art, John Piper is one of the most significant British artists of the 20th century. This exhibition at the Mead Gallery at Warwick University shows how Piper worked across an extraordinarily diverse range of artistic disciplines.

Beach and Starfish, Seven Sisters Cliff, Easterboune 1933-34 (gouache, pen and ink with paper and fabric collage)

Hope Inn, 1934, (gouache and Indian ink with collage)

Houses in Surrey, 1928, (oil paint on board)

Foreshore with Boats, South Coast, 1933 (oil with printed paper on canvas)

Fishing Boars near Newhaven, 1934, (oil with collage)

Drawing for a Construction, 1934, (ink and gouache with collage on paper)

Construction Intersection, 1934, (oil and wooden dowels on canvas)

Construction 1934, 1967, (oil, zinc, wood, glass and dowelling on canvas on plywood)

Piper's abstract constructions were the first works he made after visiting Paris in 1934. They were only exhibited once as a group, in the foyer of the Experimental Theatre in Hampstead in early 1935, alongside works by Wassily Kandinsky, Joan Miro and others. He is known to have made around fifteen in total, but few have survived as the artist did not take great care of them after their making. He ultimately came to regard the abstract style as an 'exercise'. This piece was initially dismantled before being reconstructed by the artist in 1967, following a photograph and using some original elements.

Brighton, Regency Square, 1949, (oil on canvas)

Portland Stone Perspective, 1954, (oil on board)

Rocks on the Glyder Mountain, 1951, (oil on canvas)

Interior of Coventry Cathedral the Morning After the Blitz, 1940

Cartoon for Baptistery Window, Coventry Cathedral, 1956, (ink, crayon and pastel on paper)

Abstract 1956, (screen-printed rayon)

Abstract Composition, 1935

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